Dear Family and Friends,
My companion and I went to this really wonderful park with a battleship, and we sat looking out into the ocean, and my companion turns to me and asks, "Did you ever want to be a pirate?" :)
That's where the title of this email comes from. So, I guess this is my last email. Haha. I don't feel like I'm leaving yet, although plans have been made, the flights been scheduled, I said goodbye to the church members yesterday, and I'm just having my last Pday.. maybe it'll finally hit me when I get to the Mission Home, or maybe when I'm on the plane, or it might just have to wait until my release... who knows.
I wouldn't mind staying here until the day I die. ^.^ Except that my family is far away. That would be hard.
But you know, Ammon was a good missionary, and he told the King, in the Book of Mormon, "Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." :) That's been a theme scripture for my mission. I loved all the wards I've been in, even the short ones. Each one marked a part of the road.
For those who don't know my email, though, I think the one I'll use after my mission is firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, this week has been pretty awesome. I got to experience teaching a less active who is working on coming back to church, and we taught repentance. It was a very good lesson, and I totally felt the Spirit as we went through the process together. I love feeling like I have good ideas, but then, I just realized, That's not me, that's the Spirit. I had another lesson this week, when I didn't know what to say, so I messed up a lot, and everything was just lacking. So I really got to learn the difference.
So many baptisms happening this week in the mission, it's amazing! Many miracle stories. There was one I liked, so I thought I would share. I don't remember the area this family lives in, but I heard their story. There were two children, and they wanted to get baptized. The Mother was a less active member who decided it was time to go back to church. The father, however, was against the baptism of his children. It was hard for him to let them get baptized. But, the mother and her children fasted and prayed hard for the dad to change his mind. And he did. Then, the Sisters asked why he changed his mind. It turns out, he was an investigator himself, years ago. I just thought it was a cool story. I wish them the best from here out too!
There were Companion Exchanges this last week, too. I got to go on Splits with Sister Watanabe! It was awesome! She is so sweet! She helped me understand a little more what I should be like. So kind. I want to be like her!
Then, We had a crazy day, with getting back to our area, andthen having district meeting, and then a dinner appointment with a family working on the base, and then having a lesson with a newer investigator, all in one night! What a crazy day! and it rained, so we were pedaling everywhere on our bikes. ^.^ Oh how fun.
The lesson went so well! The new investigator set up our lesson so that we could meet her daughter. Her daughter is also awesome! We hada great lesson about prayer and God. In Japanese, there is a phrase that says, "Kurushii toki Kami danomi" and it means "Calling on God is a time of suffering." And when they are in trouble, they call out for God, or something, anything, to help them. It's very common. But it meas that they know prayer. It was a sweet and simple lesson.
Then we did Weekly Planning, and Had Eikaiwa (English Class) on Thursday, and on Friday, we had Zone Meeting at the place where all the missionary work in Japan began--Yamate. That's where it was all dedicated. What a cool experience. It was raining pretty hard that day, so we decided to have Zone Meeting inside the church building instead of outside at the park near the dedicatory spot. but still good. It stopped raining by the end. :)
That night, we did a out of the blue showing of Meet the Mormons, and thanks to the help of all the members here it all worked out. We were worried for a bit about it, but everything worked out and we had a few people there. Including our progressing investigator.
We also got to meet an older woman, around 82 years old, who loves to chat. We went to visit her for the last time before I leave, so that I would say goodbye. She said it would be hard for her to change religions, but that the missionaries could come back and share a message. That's all I can hope for. Though I do wish that she can accept at least a little bit of what they have to say.
We also had a lesson outside at a park in Miura with our investigator. She's so nice. I'm sad to leave. We're good friends.
We're meeting with her again tonight! Hooray! :) Yesterday, I had a wonderful day at church. Our friend Hotaru came! She was a little excited that we allowed her to take the sacrament. :) I guess in the Catholic church if you're not a member, they don't allow you to. They just pray over you. But in our missionary stuff it says nothing should be done to prevent investigators from taking the sacrament. So it was a good experience for her, I think.
Anyhow I better wrap up.
Yesterday, everything went well. And we got through it all. I'm excited for the stuff coming up. It'll be strange not to watch General Conference a week later. :) It was nice because I could read along.
It'll be strange to be in America. I think I'll have a terrible culture shock and just never go outside for a long time. haha just kidding.
I hope that the end of my mission is just a continuation of all the wonderful things I've had in my life up til now.
See you on the flip side,
Love you all,
Dear Family and Friends,
My companion and I have been learning the importance of preparation. And following the Spirit. We learned first hand this week how to apply the circle of Planning for Lessons->Personal Study->Companion Study->Language Study->Teach the Lesson->back to planning. Which goes to daily planning, which comes from our Weekly planning, which can come with our monthly goals.
Anyhow. This week has been great. We aren't changing the world, but we are working one sould at a time. Which this week, our focus was really getting lessons with those Recent Converts we haven't gotten lessons with for a while. :) So, there's a really great Recent Convert, and we haven't been able to meet with them all transfer! Her husband has been working overtime, and it's really important to her that he is there for the lessons, because she doesn't completely understand English or Japanese. So, we decided to just go. No more waiting for an appointment! And so we did.
We rushed out there, and sat outside their apartment. Didn't look like anyone was home, so we called. Her husband answered, and said that he was working overtime that night, so we couldn't have a lesson. Well, we thought, maybe she's home, and we can leave a message, or just say hello. When we knocked, who was to come to the door but the member husband who said he had overtime! well, they kindly let us in, and we shared our simple lesson on the Word of Wisdom, and then went home. Great night, though! We met a really awesome girl who is 19, and works for a Karaoke Place. :)
Also, we were able to meet Sister Miho twice this week! Hooray! She played so well for Sacrament Meeting, and I am excited for next Sunday!
So, the Japanese Branch found out that this next Sunday will be my last. Haha... I thought I had told most of them, but everyone was surprised, and it ended up that they will do their normal Goodbye Party meal after church. >.< Haha. I love this Branch! It will be a great opportunity to invite English Class Student to come to church!
Also, because it's my last Sunday, I'll be playing Violin in the Ward Sacrament Meeting! And, also, the Branch found out about it. And I was asked to also play in the branch. :) Double musical Sunday! And hopefully many people at church! I'm excited!
There's a lot going on. I sat around the apartment today. Packing. To avoid the pressures of getting everything done next week. I just want it out of the way.
On Friday, I got to see all the wonderful missionaries who are going home at the same time I am. President Wada gathered us up all together, and we had a study session. He told us how he wants us to continue on, and keep doing our best.
With that, I end with my testimony. I know that this church is true. I love this church. I know that I can do so much more to help this cause.
I will try my best for the rest of my life!
Dear Family and Friends,
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."